Progressive Calendar 07.13.08
From: David Shove (
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2008 03:08:01 -0700 (PDT)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   07.13.08

1. Pop mysticism    7.13 9am
2. Stillwater vigil 7.13 1pm
3. Resist RNC       7.13 1:30pm
4. RNC/AM950        7.13 3pm
5. Bastille Day     7.13 4pm
6. Vets for peace   7.13 6pm

7. Peace walk       7.14 6pm RiverFalls WI
8. Sust farm/health 7.14 6pm
9. Peace activism   7.14 6:30pm
10. E-workshops     7.14 7pm
11. Rwanda          7.14 7pm

12. Reza Fiyouzat   - Democrats don't care about you
13. Carl J. Mayer   - Swap the donkey for a weasel
14. Jeffrey StClair - Forging a politics worthy of the landscape
15. ed              - Capitalism is GOD  (haiku)

--------1 of 15--------

From: August Berkshire <augustberkshire [at]>
Subject: Pop mysticism 7.13 9am

Minnesota Atheists' "Atheists Talk" radio show
Sunday, July 13, 2008, 9-10 a.m. Central Time

Robert M. Price will discuss his new book "Top Secret: The Truth Behind
Today's Pop Mysticisms," which critiques such things as Rhonda Byrne's
"The Secret," Joel Osteen's Prosperity Gospel, Deepak Chopra's "How to
Know God," James Redfield's "The Celestine Prophecy," Helen Schucman's "A
Course in Miracles," and the Jewish Kabbalah, recently made popular by

"Atheists Talk" airs live on AM 950 KTNF in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
To stream live, go to Podcasts of past
shows are available at or through iTunes.
Program Notes are available at

---------2 of 15--------

From: scot b <earthmannow [at]>
Subject: Stillwater vigil 7.13 1pm

A weekly Vigil for Peace Every Sunday, at the Stillwater bridge from 1- 2
p.m.  Come after Church or after brunch ! All are invited to join in song
and witness to the human desire for peace in our world. Signs need to be
positive.  Sponsored by the St. Croix Valley Peacemakers.

If you have a United Nations flag or a United States flag please bring it.
Be sure to dress for the weather . For more information go to

For more information you could call 651 275 0247 or 651 999 - 9560

--------3 of 15--------

From: rnc08 [at]
Subject: Resist RNC 7.13 1:30pm

Resisting the RNC: Minnesota Town Hall Organizing Meeting
Sunday, July 13, 1:30pm
Rondo Community Library
461 North Dale Street (corner of Dale and University) in St. Paul
Co-hosted by Protest RNC 2008 and the RNC Welcoming Committee

Join us and plug into the organizing efforts of those who have already
started putting plans into place to resist the RNC. This will be a place
for people to come together, share ideas, plans and energy, and
participate in the process.

 Discuss why the RNC is coming, what it means for our community, and why
resistance is necessary

 Get updated on the plans groups have for the convention

 Network and organize with others who are organizing to protest the RNC.

Organizations tentatively scheduled to present include the Welcoming
Committee, Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War, Welfare Rights
Committee, Northstar Health Collective, Anti-War Committee, Youth Against
War and Racism, Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign, Twin Cities
Indymedia, Students for a Democratic Society and more.
Childcare and snacks provided!

--------4 of 15--------

From: James Mayer <jmayer [at]>
Subject: RNC/AM950 7.13 3pm

AM 950
(To Stream:>) [still works with
the OLD web address!]

Of the People: This Sunday, July13th at 3 p.m. on AM 950--Air America
Minnesota's new name; call letters: ktnf--with Host James Mayer.

The Republicans are coming!  The Republicans are coming!

The hue and cry of clear and present danger to democracy and the people of
the United States represented by John McCain and his party is a clarion
call being raised by ex-FBI agent and whistleblower, Colleen Rowley, along
with many American citizens working to make sure that the voice of dissent
is heard and seen, as loudly, clearly, and widely as possible.  If Agent
Rowley and some Minneapolis FBI agents had been listened to prior to
9/11/01 about the possibility of a terrorist attack, George W. Bush and
his gang might not have been able to use 9/11 as a pretext for tearing
down and plundering our democratic society.

In May of 2002 Rowley brought some of the pre-9/11 lapses to light and
testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee about some of the endemic
problems facing the FBI and the intelligence community.  Then, Colleen
Rowley's warnings went unheeded again in 2003.  In April of that year,
following her unsuccessful and highly criticized attempt to warn the
Director and other administration officials about the dangers of launching
the invasion of Iraq, Rowley stepped down from her (GS-14) legal position
to go back to being a (GS-13) FBI Special Agent.

When St. Paul courted the Republican National Convention did they agree to
suppress constitutional rights as part of the package?  Is this being
rationalized by raising the fear that there will be some protesters bent
on violence along with a possible violent response by the police?  Is it
being done in order to make the Republican elite feel right at home by
keeping them insulated from the consequences of their actions?  What will
the Federal court have decided this week about the rights of the RNC
protesters on September 1st?  Join our conversation with Colleen Rowley
about all this as well as how to use creative citizen action, journalism
and communication to break through corporate media-induced fear, apathy
and ignorance.

Tune into Of the People this Sunday at 3 P.M. on AM 950, KTNF.*

*Note: You don't have to limit your listening to the car. You can be
productive at home and tune into 950 AM or stream us: (if you put in a MN zip code). Off-air,
you can reach us by calling James Mayer at 651-238-3740, by e-mail at
info [at], or by U.S. mail, address: James Mayer, 970 Raymond
Ave, St. Paul, MN 55114.

Again, as usual, we ask you to please take a moment to call or send this
to anybody you can think of, asking them to do the same, and join us on:
Of the People this Sunday, July13th at 3 p.m. on AM 950I

--------5 of 15--------

From: PRO826 [at]
Subject: Bastille Day 7.13 4pm

Sunday July 13 Bastille Day  Barbette
1600 W Lake St.
Minneapolis, MN 55408

[When is Gitmo Day? -ed]

--------6 of 15--------

From: Charles Underwood <charleyunderwood [at]>
Subject: Vets for peace 7.13 6pm

Sunday, 7/13, 6 to 8:30 pm, Veterans for Peace chapter 27 meets, St
Stephens Church, 2123 Clinton Ave S, Mpls.  (Ring bell on north door.)
John Varone 952-2665.

--------7 of 15--------

From: Nancy Holden <d.n.holden [at]>
Subject: Peace walk 7.14 6pm RiverFalls WI

River Falls Peace and Justice Walkers. We meet every Monday from 6-7 pm on
the UWRF campus at Cascade Ave. and 2nd Street, immediately across from
"Journey" House. We walk through the downtown of River Falls. Contact:
d.n.holden [at] Douglas H Holden 1004 Morgan Road River Falls,
Wisconsin 54022

--------8 of 15--------

From: Erin Parrish <erin [at]>
Subject: Sust farm/health 7.14 6pm

Monday, July 14: Women's Environmental Institute Organic Farm School.
"Linking Sustainable Farming and Health" with Mary Jo Forbord from the
Sustainable Farming Association.  6 - 8 PM at Open Book in Minneapolis.

--------9 of 15--------

From: "wamm [at]" <wamm [at]>
Subject: Peace activism 7.14 6:30pm

ECAPC July Potluck: "Living Our Faith: Peace Activism in Twin Cities
Christian Churches"

Monday, July 14, 6:30 p.m. United Church of Christ, 1000 Long Lake Road,
New Brighton. Polly Mann and Roxanne Abbas of WAMM present "Living Our
Faith: Peace Activism in Twin Cities Christian Churches." There will be
ample opportunity for questions and discussion as well as a potluck
dinner. Sponsored by: Every Church a Peace Church (ECAPC). FFI: Visit

--------10 of x--------

From: Jonathan Barrentine <jonathan [at]>
Subject: E-workshops 7.14 7pm

E-Democracy will be running workshops at both the Rondo Library in St.
Paul and the Brian Coyle Center in Minneapolis.

Rondo workshops:
Mondays and Wednesdays from 7-8:30pm.
July 14 Online Video
July 16 Blogs and Blogging

Brian Coyle workshops:
Tuesdays from 10:30am to Noon.
July 15 Online Tools for Productivity and Collaboration

--------11 of x--------

From: Lydia Howell <lhowell [at]>
Subject: Rwanda 7.14 7pm

The July meeting for the Network of Spiritual Progressives - Minnesota
will be held *Monday, July 14th* at 7:00pm at Plymouth Congregational
Church in south Minneapolis on 1900 Nicollet Ave S, enter through the
doors under the canopy off the parking lot on Franklin, and go downstairs
to the Jackman Room. Please join us prior to the meeting at 6:30pm for
refreshments and fellowship.

Our very own Demi Miller will be giving a presentation on his trip to
Rwanda, giving us an overview of the social/political situation there.
Through his slide show we will get a glimpse at the reconciliation efforts
going on, and what role we may be able to play as NSP-MN in the process.
 [Help me Rwanda - ed]

--------12 of 15--------

Democrats Don't Care about You
by Reza Fiyouzat
July 12th, 2008
Dissident Voice

Public Service Announcement: You don't need political analysts; just read
the news. Singular lines of news suffice at times. You are now in the
post-analytic age.

Here is a one-liner from a Yahoo! News piece on the recent passage of the
Snoops-R-Us bill in the Senate: "Obama ended up voting for the final bill,
as did Specter".

That one sentence tells you all you need to know about where Obama and
most Democrats stand on the issue of civil liberties and what political
leaders are not willing to do to protect those liberties. Now, that should
be enough to make you withdraw your support from Obama's presidency - if,
that is, you still have illusions about the Democrats in general, and
Barak Obama in this round of Anybody-But-Bush/McCain.

"What?" says you, "And let McCain win the election?"

To that it must be said: What on earth is the difference when the
Democratic presidential nominee, during the election campaign, votes in
the same way as a right-wing Republican not just on any bill, but on a
bill curtailing people's civil liberties?

Of course, Obama, being a smooth political operator, made a mountain out
of his molehill of an "opposition" to the bill, by supporting an amendment
to the bill that would have removed the telecom's immunity, but when the
amendment failed, he simply dropped the ball on the whole thing and
plainly didn't care enough to vote No (only symbolically mind you, since
its passage was assured tremendously by the rest of the Democratic
corporate lackeys masquerading as people's representatives).

This, in an election year, is highly telling, if not plain astonishing. It
is customary for Democratic politicians to pull symbolically left-leaning
gestures during the presidential campaign seasons, to prove this or that
credential with this or that constituency that has real and therefore
left-leaning needs. So, one would have expected Obama to move slightly to
the left of the right end of the political spectrum, if only for just a
quick photo op.

As the presumptive nominee, he could have rallied all the Democrats into a
cohesive voting block to stop this further erosion of people's civil
liberties; he would have raised his political capital by millions. One
would have expected fiery speeches in support of a change from the
totalitarian path set by the Bush administration to a situation where
people's rights were restored, secured and hopefully expanded. Instead,
this Democratic candidate has been proving his right-wing credentials one
after another.

First, he made it clear he's all for the intensification of the Afghan
war; he has announced an indefinite open season on Pakistani soil and
airspace; he has announced he will uphold Israel's strategic supremacy in
the Middle East (read, barbaric oppression of Palestinians, and indefinite
bullying rights against Arab neighbors); now he has shown that he will go
along with governmental infinite access to all households in the U.S.
Obama does not defend the constitution, and he is a constitutional lawyer?

If Obama cannot even make a show or a pretense of a defense of people's
rights when he is not the president, I for one am vastly fearful of what
he is capable of doing when/if he is the president!

Here is a classic, textbook case of a man simply and purely hungry for
power and willing to do anything to get to it; a man who is beholden to
the same exact lobbies that control the Republicans, the Congress and the
Executive branch and a man who does not shy away from curtailing, in broad
daylight, people's rights and safety from arbitrary government search and

What more proof does anybody need to conclude that Obama is just as bad
and harmful for the well being of the Americans (and others) as is McCain
or Bush? Your vote for one or the other makes no difference. Voting for
either is the same as throwing your voting ballot in the toilet. Political
hacks that throw away people's rights and their protections against
arbitrary governance do not deserve to be elected at all. [Amen. -ed]

If you want real change and you think voting can bring some change, then
know this: the only difference you can make by voting is casting a protest
vote. Tell the establishment they don't represent you in a written,
documented form.

Write in your own name on the ballot; better, write in your grandmother's
name. Stop handing blank checks to a government that is so plainly bent on
screwing you. Stop being slaves. At least spit back in their face. Don't
waste your vote, don't waste the only political force you can legally
exercise, and don't waste your voice; vote for Nader, vote for McKinney,
for anybody but the establishment boys. [You convinced me. -ed]

Reza Fiyouzat can be reached at: rfiyouzat [at] Read other articles
by Reza.

This article was posted on Saturday, July 12th, 2008 at 7:02 am and is
filed under "Third" Party, Democracy, Democrats, Elections,

--------13 of 15--------

Swap the Donkey for a Weasel
by Carl J. Mayer
July 11th, 2008
Dissident Voice

Let's make it official.

It is time to change the Democratic Party mascot from a donkey to a

I propose a weasel holding a white flag and wearing knee pads.

July 9, 2008 will go down as the day in history that the Democratic Party,
on bended-knee, raised the white flag and capitulated to the most fervent
desire of George Bush and Dick Cheney: to immunize the giant phone
corporations and the Bush administration itself from any legal liability
for their unconstitutional, criminal spying on ordinary American citizens.

This vote will be seen as the moment when all pretense of an opposition
party in America dissolved.

This fact was confirmed when President Bush, moments after the Democrats
capitulated in the Senate, appeared on the White House porch to thank the
Democratic leadership for cooperating with him, particularly Congressman
Steny Hoyer (D-Verizon) and Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-ATT).

The Democratic Party not only rubber-stamped the Bush Administration's
unconstitutional program of wiretapping without warrants, it also betrayed
three core historic Democratic Party principles: freedom and civil rights,
constitutional separation of powers and the rule of law.

If the Democratic Party in the twentieth century stood for something, it
was freedom and civil rights. From Woodrow Wilson's stated aim of making
the world safe for Democracy, to FDR's Four Freedoms, to the expansion of
civil liberties under Johnson and Kennedy, Democrats stood for protecting
Americans privacy and civil liberties. By voting to immunize the
law-breaking phone corporations and sanction the Bush Administration's
lawless surveillance dragnet, the Democratic Party has placed in danger
the civil liberties of every living American and the liberties of future

The second principle embraced by the Democratic Party was the Founding
Fathers' concept of separation of government powers. When it became clear
in the 1970s that the Nixon administration was using the CIA and the
national security apparatus to spy on opponents of the Vietnam war and on
political opponents, the Democratic Party fought back. After the Church
Committee hearings, Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance
Act (FISA) that required the Executive to obtain a warrant before spying
on Americans in this country. When the Bush Administration violated that
law by combing through the phone records of millions of Americans, the new
and not improved Democratic Party waived the white flag and undermined the
principle that the Judicial Branch acts as a check on the Executive

The final insult hurled at the citizens of America by the Democratic Party
is their willingness to undermine the rule of law. The legislation passed
on July 9, 2008 is an ex post facto law that is almost certainly
unconstitutional. By retroactively immunizing the phone companies and the
Bush administration, this law unconstitutionally intrudes on Separation of
Powers by telling the judiciary how to rule. The law is also
unconstitutional in that takes a property right from all of the citizens
who have sued under the original FISA law to stop the wiretapping. Article
1, Section 9 of the United States Constitution states clearly "No bill of
attainder or ex post facto law shall be passed". By joining with
Republicans to pass an ex post facto law, the Democratic party has
eviscerated the rule of law in America.

There is no opposition party any longer in America.

There is only Big Government in the service of Big Business.

The fight to restore our democracy and wrest control from Big Government
and Big Business ought not to be distracted by the side show of the
Democratic Party which pretends to stand for change and against the Bush
Administration while voting for the status quo and ratifying the worst
unconstitutional acts of the Bush Administration.

As soon as President Bush signs the bill voted on by Congress, we will
file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law.

If the Democratic Party will not protect the Constitution, it is time for
the people to lead.

Carl J. Mayer runs the Mayer Law Group LLC; the firm represents consumers
and investors. His opinion pieces have appeared in the New York Times,
Newsday, Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Asbury Park Press,
Philadelphia Inquirer and other publications. He can be reached at
carlmayer [at] Read other articles by Carl J..

This article was posted on Friday, July 11th, 2008 at 5:00 am and is filed
under Democrats. Send to a friend.

--------14 of 15--------

Forging a Politics Worthy of the Landscape
The Origins of the Western Greens
July 12 / 13, 2008

This essay is excerpted from Red State Rebels: Tales of Grassroots
Resistance From the Heartland edited by Joshua Frank and Jeffrey St. Clair
(AK Press, 2008).

For thirty-five years the Democratic Party has enjoyed a nearly
unquestioned hegemony over environmental politics, even though the
greatest gains for the Earth were made during the Nixon administration.

In fact, environmentalists, along with civil rights and pro-abortion
groups, have long constituted the activist core of the party: they have
been its most effective organizers, most faithful (and forgiving) voters
and most aggressive fundraisers.

But out in the American West there are signs that this long-standing
relationship is heading for a crack-up. In several key western states,
New Mexico, Montana, and Arizona, where the lines of separation between
Republicans and Democrats have blurred to indistinction, have been
launching independent and third party campaigns with the premeditated
intent of evicting Democrats from seats they have long held. Encrusted
incumbents, they call them.

The reason: mounting anger at the Democratic Party's neglect and, in many
instances, active subversion of pro-environmental policies, particularly
regarding the forests and rivers on federal lands in the West.

The price of these independent campaigns may well be the election of more
Republicans to federal and state offices. But this is an outcome that many
greens are willing to accept as the down payment on building a new
political movement - and as a just political punishment for past abuses.
[Right on -ed]

"The Democrats now represent a far greater danger to the environment than
Republicans," asserts Tim Hermach, director of the Native Forest Council
in Eugene, Oregon. "Clinton and Gore damaged our cause more in eight
years, than the Republicans did in twelve".

Similar sentiments course through the campfire conversations of
environmental activists across the West, a region that has lacked a true
environmental champion in the Congress since the defeat of Senator Frank
Church in 1980.

Green activists aren't alone in their disgust with the two-party system. A
poll in the Los Angeles Times disclosed that 54  percent of American
voters support the rise of a third party. The support is strongest among
liberals (64  percent) and Westerners (60  percent). [Vote 3rd party for
president now and forever. -ed]

Ironically, it took the end of divided government and the election to the
presidency of a politician who came of age during the ascendancy of
environmentalism as political force to fuel a discontent that had been
smoldering for years.

Most greens greeted the election of Bill Clinton and Al Gore with a queasy
optimism. While the Clinton/Gore campaign placed environmental protection
and public lands reform near the top of the agenda, Bill Clinton was
something of a known quantity. His record as governor of Arkansas, fused
with his neo-liberal rhetoric, suggested a governmental posture that would
sacrifice environmental quality for political expediency or the
appeasement of corporate backers.

Even so, the pro-environment themes, expertly deployed during the 1992
campaign by Al Gore, played well across the country, particularly in the
West, where Clinton captured seven crucial states. The Western Strategy,
which proved pivotal to Clinton's election, was decidedly green in tone.
It appealed to the changing demographics of the New West: suburbanized,
soft-tech, mobile and capitalizing on the environmental amenities, and not
the extractable commodities, of the Western landscape.

Within months of taking office, the Clinton administration began to beat a
hasty retreat from its commitment to environmental protection. In March
1993, at the first hint of opposition from old-style Democratic
politicians in the West, the administration backed off of its already
timid proposal to reform archaic mining, timber and livestock grazing
policies. An agitated Jay Hair, the usually temperate director of the
National Wildlife Federation, condemned the betrayal as a case of
political "date rape".

This was swiftly followed by a seriously compromised plan for the
management of the national forests in the Pacific Northwest, home of the
Northern Spotted Owl and endangered stocks of Pacific salmon and steelhead
trout. Many long-time forest activists viewed the Clinton plan, known as
Option 9, as worse than proposals offered during the first Bush
administration that were deemed illegal by federal courts.  Scientists
predicted that Option 9 would not stop the spotted owl's slide toward
extinction. But Clinton, Gore and Bruce Babbitt pushed their plan forward,
steamrolling their former allies in the big green groups, and in 1994 new
timber sales in ancient forests were being offered for sale to timber
companies for the first time in six years - a feat that had eluded Bush
the Elder. These were Clinton-created clearcuts and his administration
boasted proudly of them.

Further backsliding followed, including relaxed pesticide standards;
weakened regulations for the Endangered Species Act; a plan for the
Everglades tailored to meet the demands of the sugar barons and real
estate moguls of South Florida; failure to take decisive action to protect
Columbia River salmon due to opposition from Speaker of the House Tom
Foley and the aluminum companies; and the political firing of Jim Baca
from his position as director of the Bureau of Land Management for his
determination to reform grazing practices on federal lands.

Most of these policy flip-flops were engineered at the behest of Western
Democrats, whose prevailing political strategy could be summed up this
way: ignore the environmentalists; distance yourself from their issues;
they will vote for you regardless of what you do.  This regressive
behavior has been repeatedly reinforced by mainstream and corporate
conservation organizations, who almost unilaterally endorse Democratic
candidates, even those with stunted environmental records. [Dump them -ed]

Thus, early into the Clinton administration, environmental activists found
themselves in the position of the Christian right during the reign of
Reagan and Bush the Father: all packed up, but nowhere to go. While some
conservationists resigned themselves to another era of environmental
mediocrity, others decided to make a decisive split from a party that
incessantly talked environmental values, while doing the dirty work of the
corporate polluters.

The first shot in this rebellion was fired in Montana in the spring of
1994 by an unlikely candidate at an equally unlikely, but extremely
vulnerable, incumbent. Steve Kelly, an artist and hard-core environmental
organizer from Bozeman, launched an independent campaign against
eight-term incumbent Pat Williams, a liberal Democrat, for Montana's sole
congressional seat. Williams, who won his last election by the slimmest
margin in the House, was majority whip and was viewed by the Clinton
administration as a key player on health care and environmental matters.

Correctly fearing that any attrition of votes from the left might doom
Williams, the Democrats desperately tried to knock Kelly off the ballot, a
tactic they would later use against Ralph Nader. But Kelly fought them
off. Even though Kelly was a political novice who had never before run for
public office and was so cash-strapped that his campaign couldn't even
print bumperstickers or yard signs, early polling showed that he had won
the support of nearly 10 percent of Montana voters. This showing prompted
the Rothenberg Political Report, viewed as a something akin to Biblical
prophecy by Beltway savants, to suggest that Kelly's campaign might tilt
the Montana race toward the Republican challenger, Cy Jamison. Jamison, an
ideological clone of James Watt, became notorious as Bush's Bureau of Land
Management chief for his numerous attempts to eviscerate the Endangered
Species Act, actions which incurred repeated reprimands from federal

The national Democratic Party and Clinton took the threat to Williams's
seat seriously. In an effort to redeem the congressman's reputation as
true green, the Administration deployed Al Gore to Missoula for a public
booster session. This was a risky mission for the Ozone Man, because the
more tightly the White House was seen to embrace Williams, the more the
congressman tended to squirm to the right of the administration. Shortly
after Gore's pit-stop in Montana, Williams told the Seattle Times that he
believed the Clinton administration "was making the same mistakes in
trying to protect the land under Bruce Babbitt that the Reagan
admininstration made early on in trying to use up the land under James
Watt. Both came at it ideologically and went too far". With progressive
congressmen like this, Kelly asked, who misses the likes of Ron Marlenee?

Montana and Idaho contain more than 15 million acres of federally-owned
wildlands, the last refuge of the grizzly bear, gray wolf and bull trout.
This is the largest swath of unprotected wild forest land outside of
Alaska, but much of it, indeed most of it, is threatened by clearcut
logging, roadbuilding and gold mining. In 1989, Kelly co-founded the
Alliance for the Wild Rockies, a hard-nosed environmental group based in
Missoula that developed the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act
(NREPA), a visionary piece of legislation that would protect all of these
wildlands as either federal wilderness areas or national parks. While
NREPA, probably the last hope of keeping the grizzly from going extinct,
steadily gained support in Congress, serious consideration of the bill's
merits was obstructed by Williams, who used his leadership position in the
House to deny hearings on NREPA and push forward his own bill, which would
have opened 4 million acres of wildland in Montana alone to clearcutting
by timber giants such as Plum Creek and Champion International.

Kelly's anger at the anti-environmental policies of Williams, Jamison and
the Clinton administration spurred his decision to run for Congress. "The
Clinton administration was retreating from its campaign pledges to protect
our public lands and Pat Williams played a key role in pushing them in
that direction," Kelly told me. "Williams repeatedly voted against mining
reform, grazing reform and measures to end subsidies to multinational
timber companies. Worst of all, from my point of view here in Bozeman,
Williams sponsored anti-wilderness legislation that condemns 4 million
acres in Montana to logging and mining. Cy Jaminson's record spoke for
itself. He never pretended to be anything but what he was: a voice for

As it turned out, Kelly was far from a single issue candidate. He was
pro-choice, anti-nuke, an advocate for campaign finance reform and a
single-payer health care system. But the issue that drove him to make his
decision bolt from the Democratic Party was the party's environmental

Polls in Montana showed that Kelly was on to something. A few weeks prior
to the election, a poll conducted by Lee Newspapers (a statewide chain in
Montana) showed that 32  percent of Montanans supported passage of NREPA,
a bill Kelly helped to write. By contrast, only 14  percent of Montana
voters backed Williams's timber-industry oriented bill.

He didn't shy away from being labeled a spoiler, either. "I ran to win,"
Kelly said. "But if Williams and I had both lost and Jamison had won, it
would have been a victory for Montana wildlands. Jamison never would have
wielded the kind of power that Williams did".

This kind of unrepentant attitude earned Kelly the enmity of many liberals
and prompted a testy rebuke from The Missoulian, a long-time backer of
Williams. The paper's editorial writers carped at Kelly for "waging an
environmental jihad - a holy war in which anyone opposed to NREPA is an
expendable infidel".

For his part, Pat Williams sniped that Kelly's campaign threatened to
wreck "the carefully constructed coalition between labor and
conservationists. It will be a generation before it comes back".

But the marriage of labor and greens was chimerical at best, made up of
labor leaders who had sold our workers to maintain a cordial relationship
with transnationals such as Plum Creek Timber and professional
conservationists who have traded off millions of acres of wildlands to
secure ready access to politicians. [Who needs 'em? -ed]

"If these independent political campaigns cause some conservative
Republicans to get elected, well at least we don't have to guess where
they are on an issue," said Larry Tuttle, director of the Portland-based
Center for Environmental Equity. "Frankly, when it comes to changing the
incentives that lead to environmental destruction, evironmentalists often
have more in common with the National Taxpayers Union than with many
incumbent Democrats".

Tuttle, who formerly headed the Wilderness Society's office in Portland
and ran for congress as a Democrat in 1986 and 1988, points to the fact
that the Democrat-controlled Congress annually awards nearly a billion
dollars worth of subsidies for logging, mining and grazing on public
lands. These subsidies are a legacy of the progressive "job creation"
policies from the Great Depression (and earlier), which have long since
been captured and perverted by multinational corporations, such as
Louisiana-Pacific, Chevron and Noranda Gold, that feed off the public
lands and the federal treasury. [ie standard capitalism -ed]

Kelly and other independent greens hope to forge a new kind of politics in
the West, mining regional veins of anarchism, anti-authoritarianism and
libertarianism. "I told people I was running to the right of Jamison on
fiscal issues and to the left of Pat Williams on most social issues and
the environment".

Meanwhile, down in New Mexico, the spirited uprising of El Partido Verde,
which ran a slate of candidates for local, state and federal offices
beginning in 1994, threatens to topple the Democrats' long-standing
stranglehold on the state house and establish a permanent and powerful new
presence on the political landscape across the Southwest.

"El Partido Verde is a coming together of various people's movements,
which have been disenfranchised by the pro-business policies of the
Democratic Party: environmentalists, Hispanics, Native Americans and
social justice groups," Pat Wolff told me. Wolff is a Santa Fe
environmentalist and animal rights organizer who ran as a green candidate
for state land commissioner, a position once held by Jim Baca. She was the
first woman to seek that office.

A kind of Southwest Rainbow Coalition, El Partido Verde is a potentially
explosive mix that is being emulated across the West. Hispanics and Native
Americans alone account for more than 50 percent of the population of New
Mexico, who have long been treated as electoral chattel by the Democratic
Party. The initial platform statement of El Partido Verde called for
campaign finance reform, assistance for community-based businesses,
property tax relief for homeowners and small farmers, single-payer health
care and strong environmental protection standards. "This is what the
Democratic Party should have been about all along," Roberto Mondragn told
me. [But will never give us. -ed]

Mondragn is a Hispanic radio commentator and publisher of bi-lingual
books, who served two terms as the Lt. Governor of New Mexico in the 1970s
and 1980s. He ran on the El Partido Verde ticket for governor, challenging
three-term Democratic incumbent Bruce King, a multi-millionaire rancher
with a dismal environmental record, which includes support for a large
nuclear waste dump near Carlsbad. King also vetoed numerous bills
attempting to reform grazing, logging and mining on state lands. In that
first election cycle, the candidates in El Partido Verde garnered between
10 and 30 percent of the vote, despite running on a miniscule campaign
budget. "Look out," said party chairman Abraham Gutmann of Taos. "We are
the third force in Western politics".

The environmental establishment and other Democratic Party loyalists were
not amused. They hissed that such defections only throw elections to
right-wing conservatives, viciously hostile to all that the liberal elites
hold dear. Jim Baca, for example, who narrowly lost a primary challenge to
Bruce King, refused to support the candidacy of his friend Mondragn,
saying such campaigns "balkanize the political process".

Of course, that's precisely the goal of many of the new crop of greens,
who see the two-party system as corrupt and undemocratic duopoly
controlled by financial elites, imperialists and corporations. It was past
time for a break up. [Amen. -ed]

In 1994, I wrote a profile of Steve Kelly's Montana campaign for the
Sunday Outlook Section of the Washington Post. Two days later the Sierra
Club, which has long engaged in an incestuous relationship with the
national Democratic Party, lashed out, trashing Kelly and other Greens, in
a sad attempt to salvage the pitiful campaigns of their
pseudo-environmentalists bosses in Congress. [Dump Sierra Club -ed]

"Green Party candidates support radical environmental change, and in some
cases that's good and necessary, but they have zero chance of winning,"
chirped Daniel Weiss, the Sierra Club's national political director. Weiss
delivered this strange assessment shortly after announcing his
organization's unequivocal support for Kelly's opponent, Pat Williams,
despite the fact that the Montana congressman rated a mere 54  percent
(out of 100) on the Sierra Club's own political scorecard. This is how the
Beltway Green became the mavens of mediocrity.

More and more environmentalists, however, are ignoring the ultimatums of
Gang Green. They have concluded that the demolition of the Democratic
Party's ruling superstructure is the only real hope for saving what
remains of the Western ecosystems. "The legacy of electing candidates who
are only marginally better than their opponents is readily apparent from
the West's continuing loss of salmon, forests and natural deserts," says
Larry Tuttle.

The green uprising spreading across the West represents a permanent
renunciation of the pro-business policies enacted by the neo-liberals who
have dominated the Democratic Party for the last two decades. It also
signals the birth of a vigorous and principled new political movement that
finds its most vibrant expression in the independent and third party
campaigns. [Bring it on! -ed]

Jeffrey St. Clair is the author of Been Brown So Long It Looked Like Green
to Me: the Politics of Nature and Grand Theft Pentagon. His newest book,
Born Under a Bad Sky, is just out from AK Press / CounterPunch books. He
can be reached at: sitka [at]

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